Chuck Schumer's Tax Bailout for Rich Liberals


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  texan1211  •  one week ago  •  6 comments

By:   Brad Polumbo (MSN)

Chuck Schumer's Tax Bailout for Rich Liberals
The hypocrisy of Senator Schumer's effort to repeal the cap on the State and Local Tax Deduction is galling.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer claims to be a progressive Democrat and champion of the working class, but he's pulling every string he can right now to ensure that a tax cut for rich liberals makes it into President Biden's infrastructure legislation.

© Jonathan Ernst/Pool/Reuters Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) touts Senate Democrats' legislative accomplishments at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 25, 2021.

Specifically, Schumer is working to include a repeal of the limits the GOP's 2017 tax-reform package placed on the State and Local Tax Deduction (SALT). The SALT deduction allows citizens to write off their state and local tax bills on their federal taxes, reducing the amount owed in federal taxes for those who face higher taxes locally. In practice, it means that the cost of federal-government spending is not borne equally by all citizens: Richer residents of liberal states pay less of their share than they would otherwise. "More taxpayers claim the SALT deduction in states with higher-tax regimes that provide more government services (e.g., New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, etc.)," the Tax Foundation explains.

It sounds complicated, but it's actually pretty simple: The SALT deduction gives many wealthy people in blue states a discount on their federal taxes. Schumer wants to remove the limit the GOP placed on the deduction in 2017, so that SALT beneficiaries can write off more and save more on their federal taxes.

It's no coincidence that Schumer represents New York. Local business leaders and wealthy residents of the Empire State are lobbying the senator to restore their favorite tax subsidy in its entirety, and he's certainly doing his best. Along with his fellow New York senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, he has introduced legislation to repeal the cap on the SALT deduction altogether. And his latest efforts to see repeal included in infrastructure legislation are just the culmination of his protracted campaign to restore the loophole.

The hypocrisy here is galling.

Senator Schumer has harshly criticized the GOP tax-reform package — under which two-thirds of Americans directly received a tax cut — as a disgraceful giveaway to the rich. "In my long career in politics, I have not seen a more regressive piece of legislation, so devoid of a rationale, so ill-suited for the condition of the country, so removed from the reality of what the American people need," he said at the time of its passage. "Corporations and the very wealthy are doing great. There is no reason for rushing through a tax break for millionaires and billionaires, paid for by pilfering the pockets and the healthcare of middle-class Americans."

Yet could there be a better description of Schumer's efforts to repeal the SALT cap than "rushing through a tax break for millionaires and billionaires, paid for by pilfering the pockets . . . of middle-class Americans?"

According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, nearly half of the benefits of repealing the SALT cap would go to households earning more than $1 million annually. Just 0.5 percent of the tax relief would go to households making less than $100,000. The liberal-leaning Brookings Institution estimates that eliminating the SALT cap would give members of the top 0.1 percent an average tax cut of nearly $145,000. Meanwhile, members of the middle class would, on average, see a $27 tax cut. Ironically, Brookings also notes that "Lifting the [SALT] cap would in fact give almost three times as much, as a share of the cut, to the top one percent as the [GOP tax] cuts did as a whole."

So, if Schumer still maintains that he has never seen a more regressive piece of legislation than the Trump tax cut, all he needs to do is read his own bill.

Of course, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Giving wealthy blue-state households a big tax cut means that either other federal taxpayers have to pick up the slack, or we all have to suffer the now-even-graver long-term economic consequences of mounting government debt.

There was never a valid reason to enact the SALT deduction in the first place. Federal expenditures are (ostensibly) for the national benefit, and it's just plain unfair to make citizens in some states pay more than others to fund them. More importantly, policymaking is about trade-offs, and right now, wealthy taxpayers in states with large governments are shielded from the full costs of their programs while enjoying the full benefits. That's a recipe for dysfunction, and the only "upside" is tax discounts for rich liberals who don't want to pay for what they voted for.

Schumer can continue to push repealing the SALT cap. But he can't convincingly claim that it's progressive, fair, or anything but a naked handout for his wealthy constituents.


jrDiscussion - desc
PhD Principal
1  seeder  Texan1211    one week ago

Okay, let's hear all about these nasty tax cuts for the rich!

Cue the outrage!

What's that?

The proposal is from a Democrat?

Oh, well, then never mind, this MUST be a fantastical, wondrous thing!

Professor Participates
2  evilgenius    one week ago

This isn't news. The Dems have been trying to do this since the SALT deductions were cut. At the time it was seen as Trump and company giving "coastal elites" the finger. And yes it is hypocritical. 

Sean Treacy
Professor Participates
3  Sean Treacy    one week ago

-leaning Brookings Institution estimates that eliminating the SALT cap would give members of the top 0.1 percent an average tax cut of nearly $145,000. Meanwhile, members of the middle class would, on average, see a $27 tax cut.

Yep.. The idea that the SALT cap hurts the  middle class is preposterous.  It's a tax credit that overwhelmingly favors the rich. 

Junior Principal
4  Nerm_L    one week ago

Salty Schumer and Bunco Biden are sure lookin' out for the little guy.

Ronnie Raygun would be so proud.

PhD Principal
5  seeder  Texan1211    one week ago

I can't believe a story about the rich getting yet another tax break hasn't attracted the usual people complaining about tax breaks for the rich yet.

Is anyone curious as to why?

Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
6  Thrawn 31    one week ago

Frankly they should leave them in place, but as stated above they were opposed to altering the deductions in the first place so this isn’t a surprise. Really though this isn’t a big issue for me, or at least not one that I’ll spend much energy on.


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